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Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft KCTwenty Essex ‘Encyclopaedically brilliant, Michael is very quick to pick up the issues and identify the key point, and exhibits strong and persuasive advocacy.’
Michael Collett KCTwenty Essex ‘Michael is a calm, measured and effective advocate who has seen everything and has an unparalleled ability to get to grips with the facts of a case.’
Simon Rainey KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Simon has a very strong reputation and great intellectual clout, allowing him to master the detail of difficult expert evidence in a way that is impressive.’
Richard Southern KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Richard gives very clear advice and stand out for his shrewd strategic thinking.’
Timothy Young KCTwenty Essex ‘Timothy has been at forefront of commodities disputes for decades and he is a good cross-examiner who thinks outside the box.’
Simon Croall KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Simon thinks outside the box and wins cases others can’t as a result.’
Peter MacDonald Eggers KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Peter is a supberb advocate, authoritative and with real gravitas, and he has a first-class brain.’
Siobán Healy KC  – 7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Siobán offers superb legal analysis and an excellent understanding of strategy and commercial priorities.’
Timothy Hill KCTwenty Essex ‘Tim is tactically very astute and a very strong advocate who is exceptionally intelligent with a razor-sharp legal mind, and he cuts to the heart of the most complex dispute.’
Chirag Karia KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Chirag is an astute judge of the mood of the court, knowing when to push harder for the client's interest, and his advice is practical.’
Charles Kimmins KCTwenty Essex ‘Charles is a strong leader and an excellent advocate and in planning and strategy, and there are very few counsel with his depth of knowledge.’
David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘Very highly regarded by solicitors, David is encyclopaedically brilliant, authoritative and yet polite, and meticulously prepared.’
Duncan Matthews KCTwenty Essex ‘A very powerful advocate who has the ear of the court and shows mastery of the details.’
Sean O’Sullivan KC4 Pump Court ‘Sean has an excellent grasp on the law, delivers expeditious turnaround times, and delivers measured but exciting cross-examination and argument at closing.’
John Russell KCQuadrant Chambers ‘A firm favourite and a standout advocate.’
Alistair Schaff KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Great on his feet, polite and super-intelligent.’
Nicholas Craig KC3 Verulam Buildings ‘A stellar silk and a powerful advocate who is razor-sharp on paper and at the top of his game.’
Philip Edey KCTwenty Essex ‘Philip is quick on his feet and a confident performer.’
Stephen Kenny KC   – 7 King’s Bench Walk Stephen’s strengths are his good response time, strong yet didactic drafting style for pleadings, and his understanding of the lay client’s needs when seeking advice through our instructions to him.’
Sara Masters KCTwenty Essex ‘Sharp and affable, Sara brings obvious intellectual weight.’
Luke Parsons KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Luke is an exceptional advocate whose advice is sound legally and whose tactical and commercial awareness is second to none.’
Vasanti Selvaratnam KCThe 36 Group ‘Vasanti is clever and methodical and could be one of the greats.’
David Allen KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘David is commercially focussed, gives very clear advice on the merits and is a forceful advocate. He is a real example of a KC who argues a client's case fearlessly.’
Michael Coburn KCTwenty Essex ‘Michael is very experienced, clear thinking, user-friendly, calm and composed.’
Dominic Kendrick KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘An absolutely brilliant barrister, very clear and precise, and not afraid to take an independent view.’
Julian Kenny KCTwenty Essex ‘Julian is very clever and very skilled at reducing complex information into very concise statements, whether within advice or pleadings.’
Jawdat Khurshid KC7 King’s Bench Walk ‘A very commercial and user-friendly silk who is exceptionally clever, clear, concise and persuasive both in written submissions and on his feet.’
Yash Kulkarni KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Yash is extremely impressive - he exudes calm, is laser-focused and is a forensic cross-examiner.’
Michael Nolan KCQuadrant Chambers ‘He has no weaknesses. His advice is always concise and to the point, easily understood and clear.’
Fionn Pilbrow KCBrick Court Chambers ‘Fionn is a fantastic oral advocate, extremely sharp and highly persuasive, and he has the skill of breaking down complex issues and arguments and presenting them clearly.’
Nathan Pillow KCEssex Court Chambers ‘Nathan is excellent both on paper and on his feet, and he is a smooth but devastating advocate in court.’
Lawrence Akka KCTwenty Essex ‘Lawrence is a calm and persuasive advocate with a highly intelligent and forensic legal mind.’
Guy Blackwood KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Guy is an excellent barrister who is user-friendly and has a solid commercial approach.’
Henry Byam-Cook KC – Twenty Essex ‘Henry is very clever and a really nice guy who is an unflappable and persuasive advocate with a real eye for detail.’
Philippa Hopkins KCEssex Court Chambers ‘Philippa is exceptionally intelligent and has the ability to express this with concision and clarity.’
Adam Kramer KC – 3 Verulam Buildings ‘Adam is an outstanding KC who leads the team extremely well, is highly responsive and manages to keep on top of the detail in a highly impressive manner.’
Thomas Macey-Dare KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Tom is fantastic with any expert heavy litigation, and his real strength lies in his calm and methodical advocacy style, where his approach is measured and collegiate.’
Philip Riches KC – Twenty Essex ‘Philip is very pragmatic and solution-focused, very clear in his advice, and he understands his audience well.’

2022 Silks

Simon Milnes KCTwenty Essex ‘Simon is a very good advocate, very calm and persuasive, and his advice is very clear, practical and obviously the product of very careful consideration.’
Simon Milnes KC – Twenty Essex ‘Simon is a very good advocate, very calm and persuasive, and his advice is very clear, practical and obviously the product of very careful consideration.’

2023 Silks

Luke Pearce KC  –Twenty Essex ‘Luke is incredibly bright and impressive on his feet, and he sees the good arguments and articulates them very clearly and persuasively.’

2024 Silks

Oliver Caplin KCTwenty Essex ‘Oliver is an excellent barrister whose advocacy is clear, concise and perfectly delivered.’
Josephine Davies KCTwenty Essex ‘Josephine is not afraid to give a direct view on the merits of a point, without hedging her opinion with unnecessary caveats.’
Paul Toms KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Paul is extremely bright, tactically astute, and an incredibly fluent advocate who is also very pleasant to deal with.’

Leading Juniors

Ravi AswaniThe 36 Group ‘Ravi offers sensible and practical advice, and the pleadings he drafts are clear, persuasive and to the point.’
Daniel BovensiepenTwenty Essex ‘Daniel has a great eye for detail, is very strong on the law and comes up with some very clever and innovative solutions to legal problems.’
Charles DebattistaThe 36 Group ‘Charles knows more about commodities litigation than almost anyone and provides clear advice on both the legal and commercial elements of the matter.’
Sandra Healy7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Sandra is user-friendly, advises clearly and well, and delivers work in good time.’
Richard Sarll7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Richard is very bright and calm under pressure, which gives a solicitor a lot of reassurance.’
Jessica Sutherland7 King’s Bench Walk ‘A superb junior, Jessica is thorough, terribly well organised and totally reliable.’
Clara Benn7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Hardworking, diligent and sensible, Clara is excellent on the law, on the facts, with the clients and with the court, and her maturity outstrips her seniority by a long way.’
Benjamin Coffer – Quadrant Chambers ‘Brilliant at legal analysis, brilliant at strategy, and brilliant on his feet.’
Andrew DinsmoreTwenty Essex ‘Andrew is extremely user-friendly and approachable and commercial. He understands the clients' concerns and is equally formidable when it comes to his grasp of the law.’
Ben GardnerQuadrant Chambers ‘Extremely clever and excellent on cases requiring intellect and thoughtfulness, yet user-friendly.’
Colleen HanleyTwenty Essex ‘Quick thinking, responsive, intelligent and clear-thinking, Colleen's work is always clearly expressed and logical.’
Paul Henton – Quadrant Chambers ‘A brilliant brain and a hugely impressive junior, Paul always cuts to the heart of the issues.’
Francis Hornyold-Strickland  – Monckton Chambers ‘Francis is a confident, assertive and fluent advocate.’
Malcolm JarvisTwenty Essex ‘He knows his subject really well, is very approachable and easy to communicate with, and his points are well put and address the issues in question.’
Mark JonesThe 36 Group ‘A go-to person for talking a matter through and his ability to work out what needs to be done, and his drafting, are second-to-none.’
Susannah JonesTwenty Essex ‘Susannah is approachable and easy to work with, and her written advice is very clear, detailed and well-judged.’
Angharad ParryTwenty Essex ‘Angharad is very efficient, very approachable, extremely knowledgeable in her subject area, able to provide succinct explanations of complex matters, brilliant and a pleasure to work with.’
Charles Priday7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Charles is a brilliant advocate and his poise when cross-examining witnesses during hearings is second to none, but he is also very commercially minded and able to offer viable practical solutions.'
Peter StevensonQuadrant Chambers ‘A brilliant mind and formidable advocate, Peter is a go-to junior for big-ticket shipping and commodities work who never fails to impress.’
David WalshEssex Court Chambers ‘At the junior level, David is head and shoulders above the competition and is a real star.’
Koye AkoniQuadrant Chambers ‘Koye provides excellent advocacy and a clear head, as well as very strong attention to detail.’
Sushma Ananda7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Sushma has a very good depth of knowledge and is most thorough, as well as extremely user-friendly and a pleasure to work with.’
Tom BirdQuadrant Chambers ‘Tom is commercially minded, understands client objectives, and has a flexible approach.’
Alex Carless – Twenty Essex ‘An outstanding junior, among the best for his age group. He is very user-friendly with a sharp analytical mind that cuts to the heart of the most complex matters.’
Tom CorbyTwenty Essex ‘Thomas is incredibly bright, calm and measured, with sharp attention to detail and an ability to cut through complex issues.’
Max Davidson – Quadrant Chambers ‘Max is extremely easy to work with, easily picks up on complicated issues and provides clear and concise advice on strategy and approach, with a practical and commercial outlook.’
Henry EllisQuadrant Chambers ‘Henry is extremely user-friendly, responsive and quick to understand complicated issues and present difficult points of law in a manner which is easy for clients to understand.’
Andrew Feld Twenty Essex ‘Andrew is absolutely excellent, a KC in the making. He is incredibly bright, on top of detail, responsive and user-friendly, with superb command of the law in international trade.’
Joshua Folkard – Twenty Essex ‘A strong intellect and also easy to work with, Joshua provides decisive and concise advice.’

Richard Greenberg – Twenty Essex ‘Richard is an excellent advocate who delivers clear-headed and crisp advocacy.’

Andrew Leung Quadrant Chambers ‘Andrew is extremely capable, hardworking, and intelligent, and his advocacy is very measured and thorough, focusing in on the real issues and refusing to be distracted by irrelevancies.’ 

Marcus Mander7 King’s Bench Walk ‘Marcus is super smart, and he understands and retains not only the complex legal issues in the case but also those being opined on by experts.’
Saira Paruk Quadrant Chambers ‘Saira is a clear thinker and good on her feet, and her ability to draw out the evidence is impressive.’
James Shirley  – Quadrant Chambers ‘A preferred senior junior with an excellent grasp of commercial imperatives, and a sound advocate.’
Sean SnookTwenty Essex ‘Sean has a very collaborative and co-operative approach, and he has sound judgement.’
James Watthey 4 Pump Court ‘You can always rely on James to provide accurate, clever but, most of all, commercial advice, which is why clients like and trust him.’
Alistair Wooder Twenty Essex ‘Alistair is particularly good at identifying the key issues in any dispute, and his submissions are always well drafted and thought out.’

Rising Stars

Michal Hain – Twenty Essex ‘Michal has an exceedingly sharp mind, and he truly is a safe pair of hands.’

Jamie Hamblen Quadrant Chambers ‘Jamie punches well above his weight in terms of years’ call from a technical perspective and is very responsive and user-friendly.’

Commodities in London Bar

Twenty Essex

Twenty Essex is ‘a first-rate chambers for commodities and shipping disputes, with excellent depth of quality at all levels of seniority’. The set ‘certainly has the greatest depth of coverage of the commodities field of any other chambers’, with members well versed in major arbitrations under the rules of GAFTA, FOSFA and the other well-known commodity associations.Michael Ashcroft KC is currently involved in LCIA arbitrations concerning multiple sale contracts between mine operators, sellers of metals and Swiss traders concerning the compliance of metal products with contractual specifications. The ‘highly responsive, commercially savvy and incisiveOliver Caplin KC, who specialises in dry shipping and commodities disputes, is among the market’s most prominent juniors.


‘Practice Manager Anthony Carroll does a fantastic job in keeping clients happy and in arranging for counsel schedule. He serves as a constant point of contact which is appreciated, especially when members of the clerking team may change from time to time.’

‘The clerks are excellent and very helpful and always try to assist and accommodate instructions. Arron Zitver is always very helpful.’

‘I have always found the clerks of Twenty Essex to be very fair in fixing brief fees and in pricing work generally. They have been able to advise me well on availability of barristers and in making alternative arrangements when there are issues of maternity or paternity leave.’

‘Aaron Zitver and Christopher Theobald are incredibly helpful and a pleasure to deal with. They really go the extra mile in terms of support and assistance.’

‘A first-rate chambers for commodities and shipping disputes. Excellent depth of quality at all levels of seniority.’

’20 Essex has the depth of skill given the sheer number of members in Chambers. Clerks and members are all extremely user-friendly and responsive. I have not experienced any difficulty when it comes to availability of counsel, so the clerks are doing a great job in managing the schedule.’

‘The set as a whole is excellent, and almost all the barristers are very efficient and intelligent and provide a good service.’

‘Twenty Essex for me has some of the best and broadest expertise in international trade, shipping and insurance, whether amongst skills and juniors as advocates or amongst members of their chambers who appear as arbitrators or mediators.’

Work highlights

7 King's Bench Walk

At 7 King’s Bench Walk, ‘many members have impressive commodities practices, and it is one of chambers’ core areas of work’. The set, which has ‘a good range of counsel at different levels’, is highly regarded for its work at the intersection between commodities and insurance, and many members also have extensive experience in the associated area of shipping. Their work encompasses all aspects of the trade of goods, including cargo damage, cargo theft, bill of lading fraud, and breach of obligations under contracts of international sale and purchase, and they work for high-profile clients, among them the leading global commodities trading houses and leading financial institutions. Siobán Healy KC  recently acted for Edge in a $33m dispute concerning whether cargoes of cocoa beans stored in warehouses which turned out to be of less value than declared or did not exist were covered under a transaction premium clause in a marine cargo policy.


‘The clerks’ room at 7KBW is first-rate. From the perspective of a member of chambers, I enjoy working with all the clerks, all of whom are immensely supportive. I particularly enjoy working with Eddie Johns and Joe Clayton.’

‘The clerking team is excellent. The senior team have been at 7 KBW for, quite literally, decades. I think that says it all.’

‘The clerks are always helpful and responsive.’

‘Many members of 7KBW have impressive commodities practices. It is one of chambers’ core areas of work.’

‘7KBW is a leading commercial set which deals with commodities on a daily basis.’

‘7KBW has a good range of counsel at different levels.’

Quadrant Chambers

Quadrant Chambers is ‘a first-rate, go-to set for shipping and commodities disputes with a large number of excellent and extremely capable barristers’. The large number of members skilled in shipping and trade matters frequently act for buyers, sellers and other interested parties in commodities disputes, whether in the courts of England and Wales or in international arbitration. Their work spans matters under the rules of many arbitral institutions, among them LCIA and ICC, as well as trade associations such as GAFTA, FOSFA and the RSA, acting also for large corporates, including many of the world’s leading commodity trading houses. Chirag Karia KC, who recently acted for the claimant in Sharp Corp Ltd v Viterra BV, a section 69 arbitration appeal from the decision of the GAFTA Board of Appeal. Among the juniors, Benjamin Coffer recently assisted the claimant in CM Biomass Partners v Stanley’s Biomass Limited, a dispute concerning failure to supply the contractual quantity of wood pellets.


‘The clerks are always prepared to go the extra mile to assist in finding counsel at short notice and to provide the practical help that is often needed.’

‘Simon Slattery is a very effective clerk.’

‘A great team to deal with. Daniel Westerman stands out in my mind.’

‘Simon Slattery is very accommodating and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘First-rate, go-to set for shipping and commodities disputes with a large number of excellent and extremely capable barristers.’

‘Quadrant is light years ahead of other sets in terms of marketing and quality of case reports, teaching sessions, etc.’

‘I am a big fan of Quadrant chambers – lovely people to deal with, quick response time and really like their informative legal updates and Quarterly reviews.’

‘A good set of shipping and trade counsel.’

The 36 Group

The 36 Group has ‘an unbeatable reputation in shipping and international trade law’ and clients note that it is ‘an excellent set, professional and approachable’. A dedicated commodities, shipping and international trade set, its members are known for their expertise in commodities issues arising in shipping contexts and their work spans many commodities markets, among them metals, petroleum products, grain and foodstuffs. Vasanti Selvaratnam KC is the set’s most prominent silk and she has recently been involved in numerous commodities and shipping disputes arising out of the inability of vessels to discharge their cargos in Ukraine, including RTI Ltd v Cargill Ocean Transportation Singapore Pte Ltd and Cargill International SA, in which she acted for the claimant. Ravi Aswani is a leading junior in the commodities space and was recently instructed by the claimant in an arbitration concerning an attempt to export crude oil out of Venezuela, which gave rise to novel sanctions-related issues.


‘Always getting strong and efficient support from the clerks.’

‘Fantastic clerks team. Client focused and always ready to assist.’

‘The clerks are generally easy to contact, overall good service.’

‘Unbeatable reputation in shipping and international trade law.’

‘Excellent chambers, professional and approachable.’

’36 Group is always our preferred choice.’